marriage

The Wedge Sermon

When Scott and I got married, our pastor made reference to his “Wedge Sermon.” The idea stuck with me.  

While I’m not a pastor (and won’t be writing any sermons), I’m calling this post the “Wedge Sermon” in honor of the original idea.

We left that church not long after we got married, so I never really heard the whole version of Pastor Brown’s Wedge Sermon. So, these are the ideas I recall him mentioning –combined with some of my own.  

The reason it was called the Wedge Sermon is because it was all about the responsibility of the people around a married couple to not to drive a wedge between them.  

Scripture says, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9

We ought to take that very seriously.  

Marriage is hard enough without other people being divisive.

Why do you think we invite people to our wedding?

Why not just have a pastor and the couple?

The reason: WITNESSES.

What good are vows if no one is there to hear them?

Legally, the vows must be witnessed by at least two attendants, but the more witnesses you have, the more people to hold you to those vows.

But the wedge sermon was beyond that.

Not only does everyone who witnesses that wedding have a responsibility before God to hold them to those vows, they have a responsibility to not drive them apart.

How many problems in our marriages could be avoided if those around us were encouraging us to harmony instead of driving us apart!

When he referred to his Wedge Sermon, the pastor challenged the congregation that if they ever heard Scott or I voice doubts about our marriage in the future then they had a responsibility to remind us that they were there and they heard us emphatically declare –not merely our love which could change over time– but our promise before God to remain together until death.

How many of us consider that to witness a wedding is to participate in those vows? The audience should be the “vow reminder squad.”

How many of us are not careful with our words and either accidentally or intentionally drive a wedge and encourage disharmony?

I have been on the receiving end of that wedge-driving, and it’s quite unpleasant.

If the couple has established roles that work for them and they’re cooperating harmoniously, don’t come along and say that he’s not doing enough and encourage her to be unhappy with the balance they’ve struck.

 If he’s shy and she chooses to follow him and actively seeks to make sure that she’s showing him honor, don’t come along and accuse her of being unsubmissive and usurping his authority simply because of their different personalities.

If she’s happy to be home and loves spending time with him and their family, don’t come along and tell her there’s something wrong if she doesn’t want to work outside the home or if she doesn’t want to “get away” for a lady’s night out.

If he’s happy with her ability to cook and keep house, don’t come along and compare her to his mother, or your wife, or Martha Stewart.

Those are just some examples of wedge driving that I’ve seen in real life.

Don’t create or encourage discord.

Married people have enough of it already.

We don’t need help having marriage problems.

Two sinners are quite enough to mess up a marriage without “help.”

I go a step further in my anti-wedge thinking.

Even if I didn’t attend your wedding, I still consider it my moral responsibility to remind you to stay true to your vows made to God.

Vows made before God should not be taken lightly!

I have and will continue to encourage others to take their vows very seriously.

One time a friend came to me for advice. I encouraged her to stay with her husband when she wanted to leave.

The problem was, I didn’t know the whole story.

I didn’t know there were sexual crimes taking place in their home. I didn’t know that she was potentially in danger. I didn’t know her children were in danger.

If I had known that, I would have told her to leave.

Her husband did end up in jail, and she did end up leaving him. I feel badly about the advice I gave, but she didn’t tell me the whole story.

I take vows seriously, but scripture gives women in that situation an out.

If you’re going to risk going to jail and risk losing your children by staying, run! (more about marriage and submission here.)

I don’t encourage a woman to stay in every situation, but I do encourage couples to understand what they vowed and take those vows seriously.  

In another post, I discussed not making vows before God that you don’t intend to keep. For instance, don’t vow “until death do us part” if you intend to allow divorce for unfaithfulness. If you vow it, do it.

Do you drive a wedge between husbands and wives?

Do you encourage harmony in the way you talk to others about their marriages?

What a horrible thing to be the cause of added division in a union!

I don’t think it’s something we should take lightly.

Our words, our meddling, has the power to potentially break up marriages and ruin children’s lives.

No only that, but I don’t think Jesus would have spoken out about not meddling in God’s work of marriage unless He truly meant it.  

We ought to take that very seriously.

If God says let no man separate, we ought not be driving a wedge!

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

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